Jessica: Millard Fillmore

Milliard Fillmore: Biography of a President, by Robert Rayback

One day at work the fire alarm started ringing and we needed to evacuate the building, so I grabbed Millard Fillmore and proceeded to the parking lot. While waiting for the fire trucks to arrive I figured why not read. My boss looked over and noticed the book in my hands and said “Millard Fillmore? He’s got to be the most boring president, why on earth are you reading that?”. Ask anyone what they know about Millard Fillmore and they will probably respond with the fact that he was the most boring president.

Going into this biography, I have to admit that I did not have high hopes based just upon the general principal that Pres. Fillmore would in fact be boring. However, I ended up being quite satisfied.

This biography painted Millard Fillmore to be born to a family that was by no means wealthy. He grew up with a limited education, but because of his strong ambition to be so much more, he took all steps necessary to rise above his station and seek out ways to procure an education through books, friendships and even teaching. He was an avid reader and built up quite a library during his lifetime and even went so far as to build the first “library’ in the White House.

Fillmore was not the most politically ambitious president and was never very good at making decisions in stressful hat, but he did have a knack for looking toward the right people to make the decisions.

It was surprising to see that once Fillmore’s term as president ended that he was ready for it to be over even though he had no idea what to do with the rest of his life seeing he was still relatively young and didn’t know what he wanted to do. And I found it further surprising that he then turned around and ran for the Presidency again in 1852.

I went into this book underestimating Millard Fillmore, but now I realize that while he was not a formidable president, he was still an interesting figure in our polical tapestry.

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